BATON ROUGE – The Stay at Home mandate Gov. John Bel Edwards imposed in March could come to an end May 15, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Plans are in place to move forward on a gradual return to business for governmental entities, as well as church activities and retail stores.
The lift of the order will not come without limitations. Churches, restaurants, retail businesses and other establishment will operate under state-imposed crowd limitations and other forms of social distancing.
Edwards gave the first go-ahead Friday for outdoor religious services. The regulations will include limits on seating, spacing and will also call for mandates on sanitizing.
Those orders will likely remain in place after May 15. The order would likely allow opening of some businesses that have been shuttered – such as mall stores – but no further guidance has been issued on how the state will implement those guidelines.
As part of the mandate, church services under a tent must be conducted in a non-enclosed tent with group seating limited to persons who are members of the same household. It will be subject to social distancing requirements and spacing of seated attendees with strict supervision by crowd managers, according to State Fire Marshal Butch Browning.
Each tent must include a state-approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of the tent area and must include at least a 7.5-foot ceiling height.
It also mandates one crowd manager for every 50 persons in attendance.
For outdoor restaurants, regulations allow for seating in rooftop, balcony and open areas. It reduces outdoor capacity to 25 percent of that allowed by the state fire marshal, and spaces tables at least 10 feed from each hoer.
It also limits table groups to 10 individuals and eliminates gathering in the building when entering or exiting the seating area.
Guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health mandates that restaurant employees wear cloth face coverings while working. Employees are required to wear cloth face coverings while working, and employees must wear gloves for preparation and serving of food and must be changed between customers.